‘Just once a week!’ Gardening expert shares hack to reduce plant watering

Homebase detail water saving tips for the garden in summer

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As temperatures rise across the UK, Britons are most likely finding themselves watering their gardens more frequently. Weather like this can require British gardeners to water their plants twice a day, especially containers and hanging baskets. However, it’s important that you check the soil is dry before you water them, otherwise you could risk overwatering them.

But how can you reduce the amount of water you use on your plants?

“The key to a great garden is water,” said a gardening expert for Homebase UK.

In a 2012 video for Homebase UK, an expert shared how British gardeners can be more water-wise and reduce the amount of watering required.

They said: “All plants require water to grow and flourish but despite our mixed weather, water can no longer be taken for granted.

“You can help to retain moisture in the soil by covering the soil with a mulch.”

Mulch is mainly made of tree bark, wood chips, pine straw, moss, grass clippings or dead leaves.

It can contain other materials such as newspaper, manure and compost too.

Mulch has multiple uses, including suppressing weeds and making sure your soil remains moist.

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The expert continued: “There are a number of different mulches available and these will also help to suppress weeds.”

Other methods for retaining water in the soil including gels and mats.

“There are some great products to help retain water in the soil such as water storing gel and water storing gel mats for use in baskets and other containers,” the expert said.

“The gel is simply mixed with the compost to retain and release moisture in the soil as and when it’s needed.

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“The mat works in the same way but it is placed in the base of the pot.”

Miracle Gro Water Storing Gel for pots and baskets costs just £7.10 on Amazon.

Or you can try Westland Water Saving Gel slow-release moisture control for containers and baskets for £9.95 on Amazon.

Using products like this is great if you’re planning on going on holiday for a week.

The expert added: “These products can reduce the amount of watering required to just once a week.”

If you’re looking to save money, you can also install a water butt.

On average 24,000 litres of rainwater runs off the roof of your home every year.

Using a water butt could save you running your hose pipe or tap, saving you money.

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